Meeting in Geneva over the weekend, Ukrainian and Russian business leaders proposed a 10-point plan that seeks to end the conflict in the region and stabilize Ukraine’s economy by building trade bridges to both Russia and the European Union.
The initiative was organized by Klaus Schwab, who heads the renowned World Economic Forum that meets in Davos every January.
Other notable participants included Anatoly Chubais, who was the so-called privatization “czar” in post-Cold War Russia under the presidency of Boris Yeltsin, as well as Ukrainian investor and philanthropist Victor Pinchuk and Kurt Bock, chairman of the German chemical giant BASF. The governor of the contested Donetsk region, Serhiy Taruta also participated along with Andrey Kostin, chairman and CEO of the Russian VTB Bank, among others.
A full list of partcipants can be found here.
Below is the text of the Geneva Ukraine Initiative:
- Build on the 12 point ceasefire plan elaborated under the OSCE. Ensure a sustained truce, supporting the immediate end of violence and further loss of life. Acknowledge the primacy of the value of human life.
- Refrain from using provocative and belligerent language, recognizing that it is only through dialogue conducted in an honest and collaborative spirit that progress, security and sustainable peace can be achieved.
- Intensify the process of comprehensive dialogue on a national Ukrainian level, between Ukraine and the Russian Federation and between Europe, the Russian Federation, Ukraine and the United States with the commitment to establish shared objectives and identify key milestones for the solutions to the present challenges.
- Maintain a security framework in Ukraine’s eastern region under the oversight of the OSCE, to last until the territorial security is guaranteed.
- Initiate an inclusive political process towards the decentralization of power in Ukraine, where additional rights are delegated from the central government to the regions, while also supporting guarantees for minority and language rights.
- Guarantee the security and sovereignty of Ukraine by the international community. Recognize the supremacy of international law above national interests. Recognize the right of self-determination but encourage to consider a policy of military non-alignment for Ukraine, comparable to the status of other European countries (i.e. Finland, Sweden, Switzerland).
- Identify how sanctions and counter-sanctions can be avoided and rolled-back in accordance with key milestones achieved in the process of reconciliation, as part of a process of re-establishing normal business dialogue and relations.
- Put in place an economic recovery plan which addresses the devastation created by the conflict, the need for humanitarian assistance and the rehabilitation of infrastructure required. Establish for this a multistakeholder process and encourage all actors, particularly business, to jointly invest.
- Coordinate and establish special association and trade agreements for Ukraine as well with the European Union as with the Russian Federation, and later possibly with the Eurasian Economic Community, to stabilize Ukraine’s economy, allowing Ukrainian companies to boost job creation, to improve long-term growth prospects and to reach international levels of competitiveness.
- Organize a summit for the top political leaders from Europe and European countries involved, the Russian Federation, Ukraine and the United States in Geneva within a short timeframe to advance the reconciliation process.